Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hodge Podge Wednesday

1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?

Well, no, not police.  Most of my family tree was running from them - I have renegade Native American and moonshine running hillbilly genes.  My husband, however, was port security in the Coast Guards.

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?

I don't know what Sunday night blues is, so I guess no.  I don't tend to get the "blues."  I have a knack for changing my view of things and turning it around. 

3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?

I can tolerate it, if there isn't too much "blue" in my piece of cheese and it's not chunky, but in small pieces.   I guess, I have really only had it on a salad.  I don't say "blech" to much food - haha...I love food. 

4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 

I work best when...under pressure...I'm the queen of procrastination.

5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

I would like to think I'm rather diligent in all I do.  Ecclesiates 9:10:  "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.  I don't "yield" to much in life - but, working hard at all I do comes easy.  

6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around? 

Mount Rushmore and Apostle Islands (here in WI).  Maybe something in Kentucky.  As we are planning a trip that way.  Cumberland Gap?

7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

I won't miss your humidity!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Keeping with the "blue" theme.  Growing up, we were always remodeling our home.  When we finally were to my bedroom I picked out everything blue - walls, carpet, curtains, bedspread, blue was my favorite color growing up.  I even had a blue parakeet, "Sweet Pea."

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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We have been working with a lovely elderly couple, helping them downsize, getting ready for an "upscale tag sale."

If anyone understands how hard it is to part with "treasures" - it's me!  If anyone understands how to get someone to part with their "treasures" - it's also me.  (Just not my, but I'm getting better at it).

While working, pulling out boxes of forgotten items, it was apparent that the desire to keep overshadowed the desire to sell.  I went through this with my mom as well.  I know from personal experience and have learned a thing or two about how to handle this.  It is best, to let your loved one look at, touch, relish in the memory of each item - truly it is!  Let them tell you the story behind it.  Let them make the decision to let it go - don't make them.  This is where the gift of persuasion comes in play.  Oh, I have my ways....(smile).

After working the first day, Jackie and Lisa mentioned that I was helpful in this area and actually good at it.  I jokingly said..."that's because I come from a long line of preachers and politicians."  To which Lisa added...."and pack rats!"  True! 

Here is his match book collection

it was in a box of his childhood treasures.  I squealed when I opened it.   "What a find, these are awesome!" I said.   After a bit of reminiscing and my persuading (I showed him the sold prices on Ebay) he was able to let them go.  Every decision to part with came with a round of clapping applause from the 3 of us.."good job!"  I did this for my mom as well, praising her decision.  This motivated her to sell.  As it did for this couple.  

According to Zig Ziglar, persuasion is:  the process of changing or reforming attitudes, believes, opinions or behavior toward a predetermined outcome through voluntary compliance.  He also says, "the most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity."   As a motivational speaker, his methods of persuasion where used in sales - however, I was selling the "idea" of why you would want to sell or part with your "treasures."  

Empathy, honesty are also keys to my success.  I recently had an elderly vendor call about setting up at the Ringle Harvest Day.  I had to repeat, repeat and repeat what I was saying...Al said, "how were you able to be so patient?!?"  I said "I just thought, how would I want someone to speak to my mother and it helped."

Here's to persuasion - inherent, learned or gift.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Our business, 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Garden Egg Scramble

A quick walk out to the garden and chicken coop this egg scramble.  The mulberry jam was a gift from my daughter, Anna.  Yum!

I am sure going to miss this come December in good ol' Wisconsin.  

Blessings from Ringle, WI.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

"New Day With No Mistakes In It Yet"

I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the current state of affairs in America overwhelming.  The political fighting, police shootings, rioting and yes even Pokemon Go.  What is going on?   I just had to "turn it off" so to speak.  

For my birthday, Al bought me (us) a Bose radio.  I love it.  I have been listening to Internet radio.  I really like the 1940's radio station from the UK.  Old Glenn Miller, Lennon Sisters, Dinah Shore, old news reports, updates from the "home front," radio stories, even the corny commercials - all are so refreshing!  

I also decided to turn off the news....I've been reading.   I went upstairs, looked on the bookshelf and grabbed myself a "children's" classics.  Desperaux, The White Stag and now I'm reading Anne of Green Gables.  I had to laugh at this passage.  If you are familiar with this series, this is where Anne made the new pastor and his wife a cake.  The cake was accidentally flavored with anodyne liniment instead of vanilla.

"Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"   

"I'll warrant you'll make plenty in it,"  said Marilla.  "I never saw your beat for making mistakes, Anne."

"Yes, and well I know it," admitted Anne mournfully.  "But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla?  I never make the same mistake twice."

"I don't know as that's much benefit when you're always making new ones."  

"Oh, don't you see, Marilla?  There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I'll be through with them.  That's a very comforting thought."  

Oh how I laughed.  I have been thinking of this for several days.  Mindfully working up a blog post about it.

"A new day with no mistakes in it yet."  Our gift, each morning.  Oh, we will have to live with yesterday's mistakes, but somehow, for me, knowing it's a new day helps me to cope.  As a Christian, I also know that when I laid my head down the night before, I asked for forgiveness for all my mishaps, short comings and sin.  My faith in His grace - His loving kindness - His mercy is HOW I can wake each morning feeling that way.  

Like Anne, I have always had (have) a "knack" for making mistakes.  I've had some big ideals and dreams.  I pretty much acted or attempted most of them.  Not all successfully, but I have never let failure discourage me and if you think about it, that is a success.

If there were a limit to the number of mistakes one could make, I would have met that long ago I'm sure.  Thankfully, I have the drive to keep moving on, mistakes and all.  

I hope this little post helps to remind you that each day is "new with no mistakes yet." Hey, even when you do make one, learn from it and move on.  Tomorrow is just waiting for us to mess it up!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hodge Podge Wednesday

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

I usually know what I want to do and do it.  I have been "waffling" over how many of the chicks I should keep.   I like them all!

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute sumemr getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close?

Yes, we do rush the seasons.  It doesn't bother me.  When I did craft shows I was always on to the next holiday in my work.  By the time Christmas came...I had decorated so many trees...I couldn't stand to do my own.  

I've done most of those already...not the s'mores.  Now that the girls are married in their own homes - we don't really use our fire pit.  So, maybe sitting around that and having s'mores. 

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

It's too hard to pick one!   I do love fresh cut hay on a field, better yet, a wagon full of bales.  

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying, 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else?

I try really hard NOT to judge others or myself.  This has come to me easier the older I get.  I am a fighter, if I see someone's actions harming another I usually respond.  So, I guess I view actions to determine my judgment.

I am a dreamer so therefore I always have more intentions than, I comfort myself in the fact that NO one knows my plans or ideas the "I wanted to do's" but me....they only see what I have accomplished.  

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I tend to react before I think...however, in stressful situations that is the type of person you want!  I always "get my hands dirty" and jump right on in to help.   It may not always be the right decisions...however, at least I make one.  I don't stand around waiting for something to get done - I do it.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

Our "go to" dish is always pizza.  My husband is a pizza hound dog!  He would eat it morning, noon, night 365 days a year.  

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

I have!  It is so relaxing!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I've been reading classic children's books this summer.  I am now reading the Anne of Green Gables series.  I was almost embarrassed to mention I was reading these types of books at 50 years of age...but, to my delight, I found out other friends enjoy reading or re-reading what we refer to as children's books.  What I've gleaned from this, is that as I read these as an adult, I now have a different perspective on the characters.  I encourage you to pick up a classic and read it.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Esther Anin - African Widow Story

This is the sad story of Esther Anin also known as (Atta Adwoa) this young lady married at the age of nineteen years (19years) to a young man from the same village; they started their marriage life very well with farming as their main source of income. They were leaving happily together until the lady had their second daughter and she was striked by a high fever and during that period she was speaking and pronouncing so many things unconsciously and so the community branded or tag her as a witch, this was also believed by her husband and therefore he divorce her, the husband later died and everybody decided not to take a witch and her two children to their homes, this woman has faced a hard time with her two daughters in life, what she does for a leaving is serving as a porter helping other people to carry their belongings for a fee, so that she can get something small for herself and her children. The work of carrying much load on her head is affecting her health and three days ago when I went to the Krapa widows for a meeting they told me about this girl and when I went there I saw everything with my own eyes, I asked her what kind of help she would like to have and she said, she would be glad if she can enter into the farming business as she used to do with her husband but there is no financial help from anywhere to hire people for clearing the bushes, buying crops for planting, buying other farm inputs though she has her own family land which she can use for the farming but I think before  helping her with the farming, we must help her to get food, clothing, bedings  and other minor essential commodities because the condition of this woman and her children is so bad. I am pleading on “I AM WORLD MISSION” and the good people of the United States to come to the aid of this poor woman and her two children. We would be happy if our pleading is considered.
Thank you

The above letter comes from Pastor Benjamin Kwaku Adusei.  He is in Africa working with a widow's ministry.  These are the women that "we" helped buy goats for:

Her story really convicted me.  We have so much to be thankful for!  Even our poorest in America are rich.  These widows are left in very bad situations - desperate to care for themselves and their children.  So many other cultures are bound by superstitions - Esther had a high fever, talking "out of her head" so they deemed her a sad!   

Here is a woman, thousands of miles away from my little farm...wanting to this touched me!  May God bless her now and the ministry of Roy Wanta - a farmer from Rosholt (Shanty Town), Wisconsin.  

Who says one person can't make a difference.  I will say it again...kindness matters!  Please pray for this ministry!  If you feel so inclined - I can give you the contact information for Roy Wanta.  He is going to Africa this fall.  He is always in need of something.  I will be giving him the eyeglasses we collected from my "It's all Green - Vintage Pop Up Sale."  

She looks so happy now!  Below is the email from Roy:

Our great providing God, keeps us busy, this is a good beginning for this family, and as I said Mary on the right also giving the new widow a big hug . Well I guess we will keep on the road trying to keep funding our widows in Africa. Keep praying our God keeps opening new doors, so this is what an old farmer from Shanty Town does with his spare time, I just don’t have time to sit on the porch in my  retirement rocking chair, the e mails don’t slow down and neither do the phone calls. I will get these widows one at a time , one at a time as the Lord provides, when I keep a widow alive I have kept orphans off the street because momma is fighting to keep her kids alive. Prayer is the only thing that keeps us going; We thank God for what you have provided for the widows in Nigeria and the widows in Ghana, the goats are still doing good and producing new members.
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Homemade Tomato Soup

Like the rest of the gardeners I know...we have tomatoes.  I have been canning tomato juice.  I had a bit too much for another bunch of jars, so I made up some homemade tomato soup.  Really good and pulpy a word?  If not, it should be.  

Run your tomatoes through your juicer, strain off the pulp, pour into a kettle.  I added 1 T sugar, 2 t salt, 1 t pepper, 1 t garlic powder and 1 t of a spice mix - you could add whatever spice you want actually.  Bring to a boil, simmer on low for an hour - it will turn bright red and thicken up.  I added 1 T butter at end.  

I hate to say, but I will...(smile)...this is the BEST tomato soup I've ever eaten!  So simple, so healthy, so rewarding to make it from scratch.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Hodge Podge Wednesday Q & A

1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August

Of those 4, I would say, make your own cookbook.  Actually I have been working on a cookie cook book.

2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

I try to be happy with the things I have.  Wanting something that you can not attain is a waste of time.  Wanting something you can earn is good as it gives you something to work for.

3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 

I was born into a thrifting family.  I have so many as I am also an antique dealer.  Most of my best thrifting stories come from my estate buyouts, auctions or curb side pick ups.  With that said, the best story is a curb side pick up.  My friend and I found a late 1800's, mustard milk paint, square nail chimney cupboard on the side of the road....we sold it for several hundred dollars at an antique show.  We originally were going to put a far less price on it, but as I carried it in antique dealers were actually following me asking the price.  With each question, the price went higher in my mind.  My friend was in our booth and yelled, to me "how much is the cupboard?  So and so wants to know..."  I said "don't say anything till I get  to you...." Needless to say, it sold to highest offer.

4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? 

My wanderlust is like an 8.  It would be a 10, but I hate flying.  What kicks it into high gear is when I actually have some extra money so I can "go."  I also enjoy exploring with my daughters.  We are going to Ireland/Scotland in October.  I am looking forward to these adventures with them now that they are adults (and can pay their own

5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?

Sprint for sure.  I have had a lot going on with my business as in sales, events and buyouts.  I hardly have time to get new inventory into my booths.

6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 

The "you must clean this out before you leave for Ireland/Scotland" list from my husband...(smile) or I will do it for you....waaaa  I hate that!

7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time? 

Digging in an old farm house my friend Vikki bought out...she let me "pick" after she did and before she cleaned it out.   Her blog is:

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

We have been watching the Olympics.  How in the world do those gymnasts flip themselves around like that?  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"I do, I do, I do Believe in Spooks" Cowardly Lion, Wizard of Oz

That little jingle from the cowardly lion has been running through my mind lately.  Let me tell you why.  

I have experienced many things I can not explain in my life.  I do believe we are all only a breath away from the natural to spiritual world.  

I could write a book here about things I've experienced thus far in my life, truly I could.  I don't know how to explain these experiences, I just know they happened to me.  I know that some people are more sensitive to this than others.  With that said, I'm not here to make anyone believe in "spooks" only to share these two stories with you.

Last week, I was asked to look at and give an offer on some items located on the third floor of the old Wausau East high school apartments.  The architect and contractor did an amazing job keeping the integrity of the school while utilizing the classrooms for apartments - truly amazing.  As the lady and I passed a room I had a weird feeling and a quick image of a young lady with blonde hair standing outside the door of that room came to my mind.  I asked her if she ever heard any stories of the school being "haunted."  She said yes.  I added, while pointing to that door, "well I think there is something with this room..." she just laughed.  Well, a few days later, my friend Lisa and her daughter came to help me box up the items.  As we passed that very same door, Lisa said - "yikes, I just got a chill and the hair on my arm is standing up"  I told her what I felt about that was creepy.  "I don't like it...let's hurry up and get out..." (smile).

Then, yesterday, while looking at some items in an old farm house, this happened.  I walked into a bedroom, I was scanning the items when from behind something made my head turn.  As I looked back, a glass picture frame flew and I mean like someone swiped it off the top of the dresser and it landed with a thud on the floor.  I was with my friend, Vikki.  I said, "what was that?"  She said..."well, you see that frame over had a mirror in it, but the other day while we were here, it fell off the wall and broke..."  Creepy!!  

So, ya, "I do, I do, I do believe in spooks."  I'm not afraid, because I know that Jesus is with me and "greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world."  In fact, I recited that scripture out loud as I walked down the steps.  

So, for those customers who ask, "do you ever come across any ghosts?"  Well, you decide, as I can not explain it!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Foodie Friday - Tomatoes

Our garden in August on our farm in Wisconsin yields us plenty of fresh produce.  Many of my lunches this week have looked like this.  I almost hate to say...I'm getting "sick" of tomatoes...I know in January I will long for a vine ripe, fresh tomato.  So, that is why I've been eating them for breakfast on toast, lunch in a salad and dinner in a soup or side dish.  Let's not forget snack time - salsa.

I hope you are enjoying your garden bounty, wherever it is you live.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconisn.  

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Blogging Life - Page Views

Hey, I'm coming off an incredible month of page views.  I wanted to hit my all time top number.  I even called my friend, Lisa, I said "go look at my blog like 30 times..."  I know, it's silly, but I just wanted to hit that next "mountain."

Well, little did I know that one of my Instagram pictures that linked to my blog, was viewed by a nationally syndicated radio talk host out of Washington D.C.  He must have looked under one of my # tags.  Believe me, I do not have that many followers on any of my social media sites.  I was shocked to see who that was that liked my photo.  He is popular and in one day I had as many views as I would get on a good month. 

I was wondering, blogger friends, do you watch your "numbers?"  Check your stats?  I know it's not about the numbers...I do write this blog for me...but, the "mountain" has now been set even don't know if I can hit it I will enjoy this moment now.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.    

Laura Ingalls Wilder Display

I was asked by our county fair board to help organize a wing of our exhibition building as a Laura Ingalls Wilder history area.  My contribution was setting up some vignettes of period style antiques.  

I was also interviewed for the news.

I messed up...I should have said the name of my much for my "organic advertising" - LOL

I guess there were lots of questions on if the items were for sale.  I did pose the idea to the fair board for next year..."It's All About the Fair - Vintage Pop Up Sale"  - We'll see what they think.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

He Knows My Name - Francesca Battistelli

I love this song, for many reasons.  It came on the radio once, when I "needed" to hear it.  Jesus sure sends us messages at the right time - if we are willing to listen and recognize them. 

It reminds me of that moment when I had my feelings hurt at an antique show.  As I was sulking, driving home, this song came on the radio.  He reminded me that "I don't need my name in lights" it helped me at that moment and every time I hear it now.  It was a little "slap in the face" and helps me keep things in perspective.

Well, Francesca Battistelli was going to be in Wausau for a FREE concert (thank you all who organized this event).  It happened to be the last night of the fair, I am one of four superintendents in a department and really am supposed to be in my area helping exhibitors collect their items.  I haven't missed a Sunday night at the fair since we joined 4-H (like 19 years).  I did this year...I actually had to keep myself from feeling guilty.  Thank you to my co-superintendents who gave me the O.K. (wink) not to be there.  Thank you to the other 4-H families who helped pick up our club's fair booth.

Also, we had half of our field down ready to bale.  Al did 4 wagons of small bales without my having to stack them and unload them.  What a man...really...he unloaded 3 of the wagons alone!  He put 50 bales up the elevator, turned it off, ran up to the top of the barn, stacked the bales, run back down, got back on the wagon and...repeat...over and over.  Thank you Al, I love you!  We have another wagon yet, but we gave the hay to our friends for their donkey.  What they don't take, I will unload.  

All this, so I could go to the concert!  It was amazing!  I just love her music.  She has so many great songs!  I even bought the "I don't need my name in lights" t-shirt.  Yay!

Justine and I found a small area pretty close to the stage.  Estimates are that over 5,000 people were there.  It was packed.  The last songs had everyone on their feet singing and praising.  It was beautiful.  I am so happy I was able to go.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Donation of Hair

I have always had long hair.   When my mom was small, she was sick and had hardly any hair.  So, she always kept hers and our hair long.  My dad was 1/2 Native American, so we all have good hair genes.  Mine grows fast!  We also attended a UPCI church where cutting your hair was frowned upon.  This view on hair, had my keeping mine long.

Anyway, when I was about 19, I cut my hair for the first time.  It was very long and after the cut, still long.  I started donating my hair.  

When our daughter was 11, she was diagnosed  with  Rhabdomyosaracoma of the bladder.   We were advised by her oncologist to cut her long red hair before her first chemo.  It would be easier to lose short than such long hair.  She donated a long ponytail to Locks of Love.

After watching Anna struggle with hair loss, people thinking she was a boy, it made me think about other girls going through this as well.  In an impulsive moment, I cut off most of my long hair and donated it.  At the time, I thought - Lord, if you help us get through this, I will donate my height in hair.

Now, I know that you can't make "deals" with the Lord.  He did heal her, provided us with excellent doctors close to home, helped Anna through her treatments and now this summer she celebrated 10 years cancer free.  God is good!

A few years back I completed my goal of 5'4" of hair donated and I could "check" that off my list.

Well, my hair once again is extremely long.  I had intentions of the last time I cut it to be my "last" time.  However, I now have a girl in our 4-H club that has Alopecia.  I was yet again convicted by hair length - I have so much - she has none.

So, yesterday, after I hot day setting up at the fair, I drove to Cost Cutters.  As I walked in the salon, two older women said "you are NOT cutting your hair!"  I said, "yes I am and I'm donating it."  They both said..."God bless you!"

He has!  Over and over again and gifted me with awesome hair genes.  This is something I can do for others.  If you are convicted NOT to cut your hair, live by a holiness standard that's great!  I'm sure God will bless you for it.  However, I am convicted by having so much hair and taking it for granted.  With this cut, I have now donated 6' 9" of hair to some child who needed it more than I.   

Blessing from Ringle, Wisconsin.